Skyrim is awesome, but infuriating if you grind to dominate! The fate of the entire world is on my character? Then he does what I would do. He levels up by squashing rats and spiders (or wins magic card duels against wimps or amasses vast resources or whatever). He does it over-and-over as long as there’s meaningful benefit to the practice.
Then he marches grandly through the storyline. If things get dicey it’s back to levelling up like a good mini-max Munchkin. Challenges are for the post-game environment. Y’know…after the world is saved? Until then, I like my character getting killed about as much as me getting killed.
Problem is, Bethesda programmers hate hate hate being cheesed. It’s vital to them that I suffer for playing the way I want. My nephew assured me that Skyrim didn’t punish people for levelling. The other problem is, my nephew is a big fat liar.
I enjoyed Alchemy enough to max it (Skill rank 100) before questing and adventuring. This also made me filthy rich while easily levelling other skills. So I was about 33rd level when starting the quests my brother and the German Science Babe were tackling at 2nd or 3rd level.
Which means where their overland encounter was a frost wolf…mine was two or three frost trolls. In dark crypts they’d have some skeletons…I got the Draugr Deathlord.
“Er…Mr. Deathlord? I think there’s been a mistake. True, I am a master Alchemist and financial tycoon. But my combat experience to date has been one wolf and two pathetic bandits. I’m actually here to learn combat, not…um…by the way, is that ‘Deathlord’ or ‘Death Lord’?”
Actually, I did beat him. (with the ol’ Fire Atronach/Destruction Spells/Potion Spamming trick). And did successfully complete that beginner’s quest. I could certainly slog through the rest of the storyline by simply carrying enormous quantities of my extremely powerful concoctions.
But it’s the principle of the thing. Isn’t it? This customer wants a cheesy experience, and the customer is always right.
Bethesda begs to differ.
I started a new character anyway, specifically to exploit something.. All I’ve found, and this is a mewling, pitiful little thing, is woodchopping. You can chop wood and sell it to the sawmille owner without gaining skill. (These city-boy programmers must have never held an axe in their lives.)
Woodcutting is slow and boring, with an unavoidable and repetitious—pardon the pun–“cut” scene of you chopping wood. I don’t know how many hours I’ll spend on it. Probably about twenty.
See, it’s so slow I can get a few seconds of work done while waiting for the cutscene to end. And I’m way behind on housework. So why not combine inefficient gaming with inefficient tidying? This will provide a vanishingly small advantage over someone who plays the way Bethesda prefers!
Yes, I know this is lunacy. I’m embarking on an epically tedious journey just to spite people who don’t even know I exist. But if I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t exist. A non-insane wormme would be someone else. Probably better, but definitely different.